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How to Choose a Family Dentist

You must realize that cleaning your teeth is only a fraction of what your dentist actually does. Your dentist is a very essential component to your family’s healthcare team. If your dentist is reputable, he/she will help you prevent dental problems, spot oral cancers, and even improve your total health by maintaining your teeth and gums. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you find a good dentist for your family.

You should abide by the following three tips, and also use your own best judgement when trying to find a good dentist for your family.

First, you need to determine the dentist’s credentials and experience. A person must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass both written and practical exams in order to become a dentist in the United States. To determine his/her credentials, you could simply ask or you could even look on the website. Also, check if all the dentists in the practice have the same level of credentials and experience. You should also make a note as to whether your dentist of interest has committed to continuing his/her education post-graduation. Similar to other healthcare fields, new discoveries are being made regularly. Any dentist you choose should be making sure he/she is keeping up with them.

Call the office and make sure to ask lots of questions. Do you need to find a dentist who not only treats adults, but also children and teens? Make sure you inquire, because there are some family dentist who will not work with young children. Are you children in need of braces as well as routine care? Some family dentists offer braces, as well as cleanings and fillings.
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Are you one of those people who suffer from dental phobias or fears? Certain dentists are very welcoming to this type of patient and will offer special services to make them feel more comfortable, such as sedation dentistry and nitrous oxide. Your level of comfort will be a high priority to any good dentist out there.
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Next, you need to figure out what the office is like. When you call the office, is the receptionist rude or is he/she pleasant? It is important that the receptionist is patient when you are asking all of your important questions. A general guideline to follow is that you can tell a lot about an office just by getting to know the person staffing the front desk. If you happen to find a dentist who offers a free initial appointment, use that visit to assess the office. Is the dentist up to date with the latest equipment? If a dentist takes the time to learn the latest techniques and tools, then he/she is doing a great job at looking out for his/her patients’ comfort and convenience. Also, is the office located in a convenient location for your family? It will be much easier for you to keep your appointments if the office is located in a convenient location for you.

Of great importance is also determining how this particular dentist will be able to fit your family’s needs. Every family is different. It’s possible that you have young children at home, as well as an aging parent living with you. Since there are so many factors to consider when searching for a dentist, it’s a great idea to ask around to your friends, family, and neighbors. Just take your time, and choose your family dentist wisely since he/she will be a valued member of your healthcare team.